beck·​on | \ ˈbe-kᵊn How to pronounce beckon (audio) \
beckoned; beckoning

Definition of beckon

intransitive verb

1 : to summon or signal typically with a wave or nod My master beckons. He … beckoned to the other generals to come and stand where he stood.— H. E. Scudder
2 : to appear inviting : attract the frontier beckons

transitive verb

: to beckon to beckoned us over to their table

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Other Words from beckon

beckon noun

Synonyms for beckon


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Examples of beckon in a Sentence

She was beckoning them in to shore. She beckoned the waiter to come over. She beckoned to the waiter to come over. From the time he was a child, the wilderness beckoned to him. The nature preserve beckons bird-watchers, who visit from around the world.
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Recent Examples on the Web Popular with locals as well as tourists, İstiklal Caddesi, also known as the Grand Avenue of Pera, is a busy thoroughfare with many side streets that beckon you to explore further—night or day. Wendy Altschuler, Forbes, 22 Oct. 2021 The benches out front, where old men would sit and gossip, beckon you to rest. Brinley Hineman, USA TODAY, 20 Oct. 2021 One side of life may beckon you with pleasurable pursuits, calling your name like a siren and reminding you of all the fun that could be had, while the other side brings up all of the work that there is to do in the here and now. Tarot Astrologers,, 2 Sep. 2021 Their turquoise basins and panoramic mountain backdrops beckon you in for a swim. Fiona Kerr, Condé Nast Traveler, 1 Sep. 2021 Hammocks, lawn games, and fire pits hidden among old-growth firs beckon guests to slow down. Travel + Leisure Staff, Travel + Leisure, 19 Feb. 2020 Whether or not Franklin Falls makes it onto an official map anytime soon, Milner is hoping the new moniker will beckon to visitors and claim a spot in their mental maps of the Granite State., 2 May 2021 The fire tables and cushy seating arrangements will likely beckon me back for drinks in the dark. Amy Drew Thompson,, 30 Apr. 2021 On top of that, while NYC & Company officials are touting the many aspects of city life that can beckon visitors in the coming months, not everything has reopened for business. Charles Passy, WSJ, 21 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'beckon.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of beckon

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for beckon

Middle English bekenen, bikenen, becknien, becknyn, going back to Old English bēcnan, bīcnan, bīcnian, bēacnian "to make a mute gesture to, summon, symbolize, portend, reveal," going back to West Germanic *bauhnjan- or *bauhnōjan- (whence also Old Saxon bōknian "to portend, give as a token," Old High German bouhhanen, bouhnen "to give a sign or token, signify"), weak verb derivatives of *baukn- "sign, signal" — more at beacon entry 1

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Time Traveler for beckon

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The first known use of beckon was before the 12th century

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Last Updated

26 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Beckon.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for beckon



English Language Learners Definition of beckon

: to signal (someone) with your arm or hand in order to tell that person to come closer or follow
: to appear attractive or inviting
: to attract (someone or something)


beck·​on | \ ˈbe-kən How to pronounce beckon (audio) \
beckoned; beckoning

Kids Definition of beckon

1 : to call or signal by a motion (as a wave or nod) They beckoned to us to come over.
2 : to appear inviting New adventures were beckoning.

More from Merriam-Webster on beckon

Nglish: Translation of beckon for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of beckon for Arabic Speakers


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